The State government’s decision to exempt IT companies from the Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Rules, 1946, for five more years has not gone down too well with techies who feel it could further deteriorate work atmosphere.
Participating in a discussion organised by the IT Employees Centre (ITEC) and Alternative Law Forum (ALF) on Friday, employees from leading IT companies in the city expressed their concerns that such exemption would do little to protect their interests.
The Standing Orders require companies to classify employees based on their nature of employment (permanent, temporary), manner of informing working hours and holidays, termination of employment and notice to be given by the employers, means to redress employees against unfair treatment or wrongful exaction by the employer and so on.
Secki P Jose, a researcher with ITEC, said the exemption of IT companies was done without any deliberation or discussion. “The State government has no idea on the extent of contractualisation that prevails in the IT sector. In fact, there are staffing firms providing contract employees to companies. Staffing is the next booming industry,” Jose said.
“It is a good sector to have in your economy. There is flexibility, which unfortunately comes at the cost of protection of the employees interests. In keeping with their closeness to American markets, Indian IT companies try to follow at-will employment,” he said.
The IT sector employs about 28 lakh people in India, making up just 0.63 per cent of the total labour workforce, but generating 18.33 per cent of the total exports. In Karnataka, the IT sector employs 9 lakh people out of 2.33 crore workforce, churning out 40 per cent of the State’s exports.